Catholicism 101 Writer
Gerard DeAngelis is a double major in Philosophy and Business Management & Leadership. His interests include anything tangentially related to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, the Common Doctor, the Dumb Ox of Aquino! He also loves Mock Trial, playing classic rock on the guitar, and long walks on the beach while sipping chamomile tea. After college he plans to do nothing with his business degree but rather purchase a large toga and use his philosophical prowess to become a sophist, selling his knowledge for big money.
Today, when many people think of “the law,” they see it as, at best, a necessary evil to maintain order—or at worst, as a harmful imposition. This contrasts directly, however, with the Biblical notion of a law that is to be loved: “I love thy law / Seven times a day I praise thee / for thy righteous ordinances…The law of thy mouth is better to me / than thousands of gold and silver pieces…I delight in thy law” (Ps 119:163-164, 72, 70).
What exactly is grace? We often claim to be in someone’s “good graces,” or we might sit behind Grace in Calculus. Luckily, in the “Prima Secundae,” or “First Part of the Second Part,” of his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas gives an answer. In Question 110, getting ready to present his treatise on the theological virtues, St. Thomas turns his attention to what grace is—what he calls its “essence.”